Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

LapinDuracell
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Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

Postby LapinDuracell » Thu 19 Apr 2012 22:56

Hi,

I have watched some high ELO replays, and read most of this forum, and haven't really seen how to counter this. By "spam" I mean getting 8-10 vetted VTS1 and at least 4-8 Marder 1 on a 1500 pts start, backed with one or two heavy tanks, missile AA (Roland 2, Marder again...), and autocannon recon (luchs). The rest is at least two CV and some defending AA, not taking part in the attack.

The speed of the Marder blob is high, VTS1 flanks and kills the medium/heavy tanks at short range, while Marder 1's autocannon of death deals with infantry and helis (remember that they go forward, so they close quite quickly in range). If some T80 are still alive, the Leo 2 comes for the kill.

Of course you can retreat and avoid the horde until it has no fuel, but you will then lose terrain control and it's GG. Pact hasn't access to the same combination of high AP and good autocannon, or for a most higher price : Zhalos have bad armor and lower AP, BMP-2 are expensive. ATGM are not an option, they are slow and easily killable. Cheap tanks may be, like T-55 and T-34 ? Their speed is so low (40-50 kph) compared to the 70 kph of the marder that they can't counter rush.

I'm not blaming those using this strat (one of them is very well known here, but that's not the point), ranked games are for competition after all, and it surely requires very good micro and adaptation skills.

I'm just trying to find whether it exists a counter deck to this one. Some people think this is so OP that it requires a price change on the Marder 1 and VTS1, but I'd prefer to believe another solution exists. Any idea ?

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Re: Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

Postby bentguru » Fri 20 Apr 2012 00:17

short answer, no. VTS1s alone will struggle to beat PACT heavy armor, particularly well microed heavy armor.

Long answer, if executed perfectly, maybe, but then anything executed perfectly is hard to stop.

I'll add something I wrote for another thread because it is somewhat applicable here, basically discussing why rushes in general work very well and what their weaknesses are.

Honestly I think the word rush is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to wargame. Rushes in other games are typically based on a single unit type and take place extremely quickly. While most "rushes" in wargame also take place quickly you do have some amount of time to prepare your response, and said rushers are almost never a single unit type (and when they are they're stupid). A better term would be "fast attack" in my experience.

The idea behind a fast attack build is that instead of establishing a defensive line and taking multiple command sectors, then engaging in a protracted war of attrition, you start the game with a highly mobile armor force and attempt to penetrate your opponents defensive line and destroy high value targets, particularly command units. This usually results in a quick effective end to the game as either your assault fails and you lose the majority of your army or it succeeds and your opponent is either wiped out or lost so much that his chances of winning are miniscule.

There are a few reasons why FA strategies work. First and foremost among them is that there is an inherent weakness in the typical "defensive" build, namely that you have to defend each command sector you take and thus open yourself up to a defeat in detail. Anybody who's familiar with other RTS games will recognize that the normal defensive build in W:EE is basically as half-hearted farmer's gambit, you're banking your success on the idea that since your opponent cannot see in detail your defenses he will assume he cannot break them effectively, so he wont try and will let you eventually win the game through superior income. When confronted against a FA strategy, which aggressively attacks your command sectors, this strategy fails and usually the defender is wiped out. There are additional reasons why it works, but for the sake of brevity I'm going to skip them.

For all its strengths FA builds do have weaknesses that a defender can exploit. To begin with the command units of the attacker are typically only lightly defended (due to most of his force being busy blowing you up) and are vulnerable to smaller flanking attacks from your own forces. Combat is also extremely fuel intensive, so logistics are a constant issue particularly as most FA builds require the deletion of the starting FOB. FA builds usually pack the bare minimum of AA, which can allow enterprising players to destroy what AA cover the attackers have and pick apart the rest of the force at leisure. A FA strategy absolutely demands destruction of rear-echelon units in order to succeed, a costly assault that destroys a command unit is worth it, but an assault that kills as much as it loses without destroying a command unit is a failure. And last but not least, FA builds are typically very light on the infantry and so do not do very well against forests.

So how do you beat one? Good helo recon to quickly establish that 1) you are facing an FA build and 2) where it's going on the map. Be able to recognize when you can hold a defensive position and when you can't, and if you can't run away, you can afford to spend fuel that the attacker can't. Where-ever possible try to bog down your opponent in forests or on small hills, never engage in the open if you can avoid it. Your objective is, simply put, to not die in the first 8 minutes. If you can last that long without being dealt a mortal blow than your chances rise significantly, FA builds do not do wars of attrition well and you will likely have a income advantage. Everything else comes down to how good your small unit tactics are and experience.
Last edited by bentguru on Fri 20 Apr 2012 00:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

Postby Mazz » Fri 20 Apr 2012 00:18

Not anything straightforward unless you can hurt the get shots on the Marders with the T-80s before the fight really begins. T-80s do move 70 km/h as well so u can hold some ground in between, but if he closes or flanks your done.

Not an easy one, but I will say somewhat more doable then before the patch where Marder and RISEs just ate everything. Your probably still going to lose more then win.
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Re: Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

Postby Tigga » Fri 20 Apr 2012 00:19

Very powerful but probably counterable, though it's map dependant. The heavy tank buff has made them less powerful as they're now much more strongly countered by heavy units on a lot of maps. Of course, mixing in a few heavy tanks of your own works very well. You still have issues around woods though as far as I can tell.

Are they too powerful? I think so. The 2-2-1-1 armoured 70kph Marder chassis is underpriced in all three trees it sits in.

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Re: Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

Postby Kamfrenchie » Fri 20 Apr 2012 00:25

have a few flamethrower vehicles hidden where they are likely to go though can help pushing back a marder rush.

But part of the problem is the boken vet afaik, so you sand a decent chance with cheap, max vetted units.

If the opponet don't have too much AA, you can try sacrificing a few cheap helis to stun the marders in place where they will be easy prey, or the rolands if they are isolatd a bit.

Otherwise yeah, if you can avoid them for long enough and prevent them from refuelling, you can have thm run out of fuel and then just arty them into oblivion. f couse the real ideal thing would be to have them fall into a trap with your infantry
Had heavy tanks been buffed there would not have been a need for a vts1 nerf.

so long as there's no AA ,your Havocs/Apaches should be ruling the skies unless you're absolute rubbish with them.

Boogie Van on balance talk

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Re: Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

Postby Shanks13 » Fri 20 Apr 2012 00:36

After having had a nice round with Bentguru last night and following his advice for a Leo2/VTS1-centric strategy in subsequent rounds, I've got some observations (albeit from a lower tier at the moment):

The build struggles against heavy front armor. The Leos can get damage in, but the Rises and the VTS1s aren't particularly dangerous to a unit's health if attacking from the front. This build, consequently, hinges on being able to flank. If you can position yourself and continually move such that your flanks are well defended, the only true threats are the Leos.

Panicking units works wonders. If you can drop a good rocket barrage, you've got a good chance of at least stunning, if not panicking, a decent number of units. If your opponent is keeping his units spread out (as he should), there should at least be a semi-dense unit group that can at least be temporarily removed from battle while the other units are focus-fired.

Focus on a few units at a time. If you engage on a one-on-one basis, you might get plenty of hits in, but if you kill no units, you're liable to take more damage than if you focused on one or three units and killed them swiftly.

Fall back. You should be able to out-range the VTS1s and the Rises for at least 300 or 400 meters. It's not a lot, but it's enough to get off a barrage and maybe take out a unit or two. After that, scoot. If you're especially micro-oriented, stagger your line such that ~half your units are firing a barrage while the other ~half reverse some, then the two groups trade places. You spread damage across all your units, hopefully losing fewer. As the NATO player pushes forward, it's harder for him to get supplies to the front, whereas your supply lines and flanking routes should be shortening. Try to win the battle of attrition.

Snipe the AA. If you can take out the AA, you can all in choppers. This would probably be feasible if you could draw the NATO player close to your deployment zone and then slip around behind him and take out the AA. Also, don't forget that the landscape is really abusable in this game. I've noticed that AA units sometimes struggle to see over the tops of trees, so you could guarantee yourself a few seconds of immunity if you got good at figuring out when an AA unit will be impeded by a forest.

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Re: Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

Postby Satire » Fri 20 Apr 2012 02:35

Here is a replay of myself countering one of Bentgurus infamous assaults.

http://www.wargamereplays.org/index.php ... lay&id=479

I made quite a few mistakes too. Further, if he went more heavy on cheaper spammy units, it would have gone worse for him I believe.
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Re: Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

Postby bentguru » Fri 20 Apr 2012 03:05

It's worth pointing out as well that the build's effectiveness is quite map dependent. Summer nights isn't a great map for it as it's full of chokepoints giving me no way to maneuver or flank. So is blitz.

But yeah, that replay is a good case study on what to do. I don't play particularly well but that's immaterial. In that particular situation I think 4 L2A4s would have worked better for me actually since my VTS1s were quite unable to deal with the -80Us

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Re: Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

Postby Tigga » Fri 20 Apr 2012 03:06

The combination is a lot nastier early game than later game due to it's speed. It's upon you before you have time to set up nice kill zones, and you'll tend to have held back too many points in reserve and have too much wasted money on AA to organize a proper defense in the first few minutes.

Summer Nights (the map Satire posts a replay on) is one of the worst maps for early attacks due to the bottlenecked nature of it. Assaulting the high value sector requires you to cross a bridge then cross some open ground to reach a forest - a lovely killzone which the defender reaches very much beforehand. Pushing on the side reinforce point is the other attack route, but the defender can simply retreat back and the attacker is once again forced to cross a bridge while the defender has plenty of time to bring their forces together to allow for plenty of lovely side armour hits as they make the crossing. As the game progresses into the mid game these bottlenecks are reduced (arty, and the far bridges are fairly easy to cross), but early game the defender has a healthy advantage. Rivers of blood is similar. (Bah. Ninja Guru!)

Even mid game the combination is powerful, just a lot less so as the speed becomes less valuable. The Marders are still a little to good at what they do, but it's much less clear.

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Re: Is the Marder 1 / Marder VTS1 spam unbeatable ?

Postby Satire » Fri 20 Apr 2012 03:43

Very good points on my strategy working on other maps... I have lost many times to Bentguru on wide open maps, his control groups of death are extremely effective. Always abuses my flanks, gets in behind me.

How to fight that effectively is the question. My hunch would be to create a similar type of force on a wide open map. Then it comes down to outwitting and outplaying your opponent. Armored pincers in many directions... Abusing flanks. In general, having a few powerful, mobile formations and out-maneuvering your opponent.

That or grabbing some high-point zones quickly and digging in(Map dependent).
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